Eve adds a smart floodlight cam and smart shades to its HomeKit portfolio

The Eve Outdoor Cam is a smart floodlight camera that works with HomeKit Secure Video. | Image: Eve

Smart home company Eve Systems has announced its first outdoor camera and the availability of its Thread-powered smart shades at CES 2022 this week.

A floodlight camera designed for Apple HomeKit Secure Video, the $250 Eve Outdoor Cam, launches April 5th, 2022 and features 1080p video, a 157-degree field of view, infrared night vision, and infrared motion detection covering 100 degrees at distances of up to 30 feet. The Wi-Fi powered camera joins the Eve Cam, the company’s indoor camera.

This is just the second HomeKit Secure Video-compatible smart floodlight camera to launch; a floodlight camera is an outdoor security camera with motion-activated floodlights attached. The Netatmo Outdoor Camera is the other currently available option (Arlo has a HomeKit floodlight camera, but it doesn’t work with HKSV).

There are a couple key hardware differences between these two HKSV cameras: The Eve version doesn’t have a siren, which is an option on the Netatmo one. But Eve does offer two-way communication with a built-in microphone and speaker, which the Netatmo does not.

Image: Eve
The Eve Outdoor Cam is compatible with the Apple Home app and the Eve app.

The Eve camera is also very small — just 6.7 inches high, 2.6 inches wide, and 6.3 inches deep. That’s smaller than the Netatmo, although they both share a similar aesthetic, ditching the traditional “googly” eyed look of floodlight cams (where the two lights are separate from the camera) in favor of a sleeker, more streamlined design with one built-in, high-powered light.

The disadvantage of this is you have less flexibility with positioning the floodlights. But Eve’s CEO Jerome Gackel tells The Verge the lights are “super bright,” although the exact lumens haven’t been disclosed.

The Eve Outdoor Cam must be hardwired to your home’s electrical system, which is pretty standard for most floodlight cameras, and it works over 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. It also requires a connection to a HomeKit home hub (such as an Apple TV or HomePod Mini) to process and store video recordings. The camera uses HomeKit Secure Video to store videos and processes all data locally. Live video isn’t transmitted to the cloud and recordings are encrypted and stored in your iCloud Plus account.

With an iCloud Plus account, users get 10 days of video history and the option of smart alerts for people, vehicles, pets, and packages. As a HomeKit camera, the Eve Cam can be accessed through the Home app as well as Eve’s own app.

Image: Eve
Eve MotionBlinds are smart motors inside Coulisse shades. They work with Apple HomeKit at launch.

Eve launches first Thread-enabled smart shades

Announced earlier this year, the eagerly anticipated Eve smart MotionBlinds go on sale today, January 3rd, 2022. Pricing varies based on fabric and size but starts at just under $400 per shade. They can be ordered through any Coulisse reseller, including selectblinds.com, and you can install them yourself. Coulisse is a Netherlands-based manufacturer of window coverings, and a complete list of sellers can be found at motionblinds.com/eve.

The first Thread-powered smart shades (they also use Bluetooth), the Eve MotionBlinds are HomeKit compatible and “Matter-ready,” according to Gackel. As a refresher, Thread is a low-power mesh networking protocol that provides better speed and reliability than many of the current smart home protocols. It’s also a key part of Matter, the new smart home standard coming in mid-2022, which aims to unify the smart home under one standard and help remove the confusion around which products work with which smart home platforms.

Eve’s MotionBlinds will be available first as smart roller shades, with other styles coming soon. They’re compatible with HomeKit and Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, at launch, but aren’t the only HomeKit smart shades: Lutron, Hunter Douglas, and Ikea all offer HomeKit options.

This video provided by Eve gives you a good, if glossy, look at what the MotionBlinds should look like in action.

The shades are powered by a rechargeable USB-C battery-powered motor, and uniquely for smart shades, have the option of manual control with a pull cord. There are also on-device schedules, so the shades can work independently of a smartphone app or smart home network.

As Eve MotionBlinds work through HomeKit, they don’t require a separate bridge or gateway — which most smart window coverings do. However, they will need a HomeKit hub such as a HomePod Mini if you want to set up HomeKit automations.

Smart shades are some of the most useful additions to a smart home, providing light and climate control plus an undeniable wow factor. But they are also very expensive.

Eve’s entry into the space isn’t a game-changer when it comes to price — it looks like the shades will be on par cost-wise with Lutron’s Serena line. However, because they work over the non-proprietary Thread protocol and will be compatible with Matter, these should be easier to integrate into your smart home than most of the existing offerings, which are largely locked into their own ecosystems. That is, once the standard arrives later this year. In the meantime, they are HomeKit only.

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